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Bollywood Beats raises funds for housing families of childhood cancer patients

By Geeta Menon
June 2017
Bollywood Beats raises funds for housing families of childhood cancer patients

 

(Photo: Venkat Kuttua)

One of the most devastating news that parents can ever get is that their child has been diagnosed with cancer. That one life-changing word signifies the beginning of a long battle ahead. Parents from small villages or remote parts of India who have to take their child to Mumbai for treatment face another daunting challenge: finding good hygienic accommodation. This is where the nonprofit organization Access Life steps in with a helping hand, providing accommodation at no cost.

Access Life started in June 2014 with one patient care center, housing 8 children and their families, and today has three, housing 23 children and their families in June 2016. The World Health Organization (WHO) and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recognized the efforts of Access Life towards the fight against childhood cancer.

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(Photo: Venkat Kuttua)

Access Life America (ALA) was started in February 2015. Through various fundraising initiatives that spread awareness of childhood cancer, ALA has ensured that the children are not alone in their difficult journey. On March 25, 2017, ALA held its third annual fundraising event “Bollywood Beats 2017” where Mr. Nagesh Singh, the Consul General of India in Atlanta, was the guest of honor. Close to 80 participants showcased their talents in Bollywood songs and dances. The selfless efforts of sponsors, volunteers, and donors were recognized, and an update on Access Life was given during the memorable evening.

Another fundraising event organized by ALA in February 2017 was the Spelling Bee and Math Bee competition for elementary school children (K-5). This was the first event of its kind encouraging young minds to participate and test their skills. Due to overwhelming response, registrations had to be closed two days before the event. With close to 80 participants, the Bee gave another boost to ALA.

Access Life in Mumbai has helped many children, from 3 months old to 14 years old. To these children who are fighting the biggest battle of their lives, Access Life is like the tree that provides shade in the scorching heat.

Every evening the children and parents in Access Life’s centers in Mumbai sing the devotional song “Itni Shakti hume dena data,” asking for strength to hold on to their faith in goodness. Indeed, Access Life’s volunteers, donors, and sponsors who continue to support these brave children leave no doubt that goodness in this world in fact does exist.

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Access Life America board members, sponsors, and Consul General Nagesh Singh. (Photo: Venkat Kuttua)



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